Frances Blackiston Megson


Thanks to Peter Megson, who submitted this post:

I wanted to let you know that my grandma got stem. I always knew she was an engineer, but I never got the full story until just recently.
My grandmother, Frances Blackiston Megson (nee Cummins) is a trained electrical engineer. She was born in 1925, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1946 with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. She enrolled at Delaware in the Women’s College at a time when engineering classes were offered only in the Men’s college, to male students. This, though, was during the 1940s, when young men training to be engineers were in pretty short supply. Under wartime emergency measures, the college began to allow women to take engineering classes. By the time the men’s and women’s colleges at UDelaware were integrated in 1945, she had taken enough engineering coursework to transfer into the EE program and graduate the following year. In 1946, she was the only electrical engineer, and the first woman electrical engineer, to graduate from the University of Delaware.
She used to joke with my dad that the only reason they let her graduate was so that they didn’t have no one graduating in EE, but after she left UDelaware she got a job with Pratt & Whitney, so I doubt her story a bit. Pratt & Whitney led her to Connecticut, where she met my grandfather, a civil engineer, and started a family. None of my immediate family is particularly into math or science, at least not as much as I am, so sometimes I have to wonder where I got it from. I’d like to think that at least a little bit of it came from my grandmother.
Above is a picture of the two of us, taken just yesterday, with her showing some serious school pride for her grandson.
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